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Abhivadhaye

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ABHIVADHAYE
AANGIRASA BHARGASPATHIYA
BHARADWAJA GOTHRAH
AAPASTHAMBA SUTRAH
YAJUSHSHAHA ADHYAAYI
SRI KRISHNAN SARMA NAMAH
AHAM ASMIBHO...

This traditional style of introducing oneself that is in practice while seeking blessings from elders is the one that entices me and gives me immense pleasure because of its own Sanskrit verses and ethnic style.

I believe that "ABHIVADHAYE" is just an ethnic social practice for a perfect introduction of oneself.


On this subject I like to have some of my doubts clarified...

1) WE DO "ABHIVADHAYE" WHILE WE DO "SHAASTANGHA NAMASKARAM", SEEKING BLESSINGS OF AN ELDERLY MAN WHO IS A SINGLE PERSON BLESSING US OR SOME ONE WHO IS BLESSING US ALONG WITH HIS WIFE AS A PAIR.

- WHAT IS THE REASON AS PER SHASTRAM/SAMPRADHAYAM THAT DOES NOT PERMIT DOING "ABHIVADHAYE" TO A SINGLE ELDERLY LADY?

2) WHY SUCH A SYSTEM OF "ABHIVADHAYE" NOT BEEN DETERMINED (As suitable) FOR BRAHMIN GIRLS?

3) IS THIS "ABHIVADHAYE" IS JUST AN ETHINIC SOCIAL PRACTICE FOR A PERFECT INTRODUCTION OF ONESELF OR HAS SOME SORT OF RILIGIOUS / VEDIC SIGNIFICANCE?

4) WHY ONE HAS TO KEEP BOTH THE HANDS ON THE EARS AND TELL "ABHIVADHAYE, BENDING ONESELF BEFORE DOING "SHAASTANGHA NAMASKARAM". WHY IT CAN NOT BE TOLD STANDING STRAIGHT AND KEEPING BOTH THE HANDS CLAPSED BEFORE ONE'S CHEST AND JUST HAVING THE HEAD BOWED DOWN?


AND A GENERAL QUESTION IS -

WHETHER PRESENT GENERATION BRAHMIN YOUNGSTERS ARE ALL HAVING THE PRACTICE OF DOING "ABHIVADHAYE" TO THE ELDERS DURING SPECIAL OCCASSIONS OF RILIGIOUS IMPORTANCE? FOR EXAMPLE, WHILE DOING “SHAASTANGHA NAMASKARAM” TO VAATHIYARS/PUROHITHARS DURING “HOMAM”, AAVANI AVITTAM, ETC….


Hope to receive some clarity on some of my doubts....


Cheers...

RAVI
 
WHAT IS THE REASON AS PER SHASTRAM/SAMPRADHAYAM THAT DOES NOT PERMIT DOING "ABHIVADHAYE" TO A SINGLE ELDERLY LADY?

2) WHY SUCH A SYSTEM OF "ABHIVADHAYE" NOT BEEN DETERMINED (As suitable) FOR BRAHMIN GIRLS?

You may get a lot of answers justifying this tradition, but pure and simple, in our great tradition, females are second class and they matter only to the extent of producing children and serving the family. Even the great Thiruvalluvar was not immune to this nonsense.

தற்காத்துத் தற்கொண்டாற் பேணித் தகைசான்ற
சொற்காத்துச் சோர்விலாள் பெண்

Why should the bar be set so high for women?

Of course this is changing, and sooner the better!

p.s. 1: Abivadhaye is allowed for one's own mother and everyone to whom your father would offer abivadhaye, i.e. your paternal grand and great grandmothers.

p.s. 2: In the web use of all CAPS is akin to shouting. If you want to emphasize something use a different font color or indent it or something like that. Using all CAPS is considered very rude. Just a friendly suggestion.
 
ABHIVADHAYE
AANGIRASA BHARGASPATHIYA
BHARADWAJA GOTHRAH
AAPASTHAMBA SUTRAH
YAJUSHSHAHA ADHYAAYI
SRI KRISHNAN SARMA NAMAH
AHAM ASMIBHO...

This traditional style of introducing oneself that is in practice while seeking blessings from elders is the one that entices me and gives me immense pleasure because of its own Sanskrit verses and ethnic style.

I believe that "ABHIVADHAYE" is just an ethnic social practice for a perfect introduction of oneself.


On this subject I like to have some of my doubts clarified...

1) WE DO "ABHIVADHAYE" WHILE WE DO "SHAASTANGHA NAMASKARAM", SEEKING BLESSINGS OF AN ELDERLY MAN WHO IS A SINGLE PERSON BLESSING US OR SOME ONE WHO IS BLESSING US ALONG WITH HIS WIFE AS A PAIR.

- WHAT IS THE REASON AS PER SHASTRAM/SAMPRADHAYAM THAT DOES NOT PERMIT DOING "ABHIVADHAYE" TO A SINGLE ELDERLY LADY?

2) WHY SUCH A SYSTEM OF "ABHIVADHAYE" NOT BEEN DETERMINED (As suitable) FOR BRAHMIN GIRLS?

3) IS THIS "ABHIVADHAYE" IS JUST AN ETHINIC SOCIAL PRACTICE FOR A PERFECT INTRODUCTION OF ONESELF OR HAS SOME SORT OF RILIGIOUS / VEDIC SIGNIFICANCE?

4) WHY ONE HAS TO KEEP BOTH THE HANDS ON THE EARS AND TELL "ABHIVADHAYE, BENDING ONESELF BEFORE DOING "SHAASTANGHA NAMASKARAM". WHY IT CAN NOT BE TOLD STANDING STRAIGHT AND KEEPING BOTH THE HANDS CLAPSED BEFORE ONE'S CHEST AND JUST HAVING THE HEAD BOWED DOWN?


AND A GENERAL QUESTION IS -

WHETHER PRESENT GENERATION BRAHMIN YOUNGSTERS ARE ALL HAVING THE PRACTICE OF DOING "ABHIVADHAYE" TO THE ELDERS DURING SPECIAL OCCASSIONS OF RILIGIOUS IMPORTANCE? FOR EXAMPLE, WHILE DOING “SHAASTANGHA NAMASKARAM” TO VAATHIYARS/PUROHITHARS DURING “HOMAM”, AAVANI AVITTAM, ETC….


Hope to receive some clarity on some of my doubts....


Cheers...

RAVI

hi ravi
a small correction..i thinklike this..i belong to this gothra too...
ABHIVADAYE...AANGIRASAH....BARHASPATYA...BHARADWAJA...
TRAYA RISHEYA...PRAVARANVITHA....BHARADWAJA GOTRAHA
AAPASTHANMBHA SUTRAHA....SAMA SAKHA/YAJUSAKHA
ADHYAYI.......SARMA NAMAHAM AHAM ASMI BHUOOH...


REGRADS
TBS
 
Sri Tbs ji,

I have missed to include "BARHASPATYA...BHARADWAJ A...TRAYA RISHEYA...PRAVARANVITHA....

Thank you so much for correcting me in a perfect manner.

I could now realize my mistake in my ABHIVADHYE....I did a mistake simply because my last ABHIVADHYE was 10 years ago while seeking blessings of my GURUSWAMY during AYYAPPAN POOJAI.

Still hoping to receive some clue of my questions pertaining to the topic..

Cheers...

RAVI
 
Abhivadhaye is just a means of introduction. Dont see chauvenism in each and every piece. ofcourse, they were. But I dont think this as a piece included under this. At those ages, males were the teachers and in order to introduce yourself, it was found to be the proper way.

There are even many don't to this.
1. You should not tell abhivadhaye when a group of elders are there (even males)
2. Even you can do prostrate namaskar to your mother, even if she is single.

So, you cannot blindly say that this is against females. Might be the usage is restricted... Do you think in those days, females were treated unequally???. Garghi, maitreyi, anusya, thara, so many so many legends were there. The society was almost bright in that vedic time. Only in the medieval age, it got some confusions and males treated females as inferior.

Can you say something equivalent to svayamvara???
There are certian rights provided especially for them... Am sorry nara for confronting you.

Anyhow, the mean of abhivadhaye is to intro yourself and get blessings. Even the elderly persons should reciprocate the abhivadahye with their blessings in the same way. I dont know how many oldiez are doing that??? But being a presnt generation guy, I myself will do that in almost all occassions and also whenever I see older persons.

My question is how many middle generation people are doing this whole-heartedly??? What about my friend RAVI??

Pranams
 
Sri Durgadasan avargal,

You shot a very right question on me - "My question is how many middle generation people are doing this whole-heartedly??? What about my friend RAVI??"

I didn't do ABHIVADHYE for the last 10 years.....I feel for it...

But this was/is not due to the negligence. The reasons are - Living in this mechanical life, dedicating our self completely to our career in this highly competitive world and missing religious ceremonies, living away from our home, from our tradition etc..etc...In concise, not getting an opportunity to do ABHIVADHAYE

But the point is I still carry the values of Brahmin Culture, respect them, loves them and yarns to follow them.

I have questioned in my very first post under general question category exactly that you have repeated in your conclusion.

I have admitted that I could not get an opportunity to do ABHIVADHYE due to missing the opportunity to be at the right place at the right time, owing to my career and many other reasons. But I wanted to know whether present generation boys who are still students, living with their parents and attending almost every occasion are doing ABHIVADHAYE?

I feel almost all my questions have been reasonably answered. I could evaluate myself with that of my assumptions.

The 2 questions for which I could not get any clarification so far is -

2) Why such a System of doing "ABHIVADHAYE" not been determined (As suitable) for Brahmin Girls?

4) Why one has to keep both the hands on the ears and tell "ABHIVADHAYE, bending oneself before doing "SHAASTANGHA NAMASKARAM". Why it can not be told standing straight and keeping both the hands clasped before one’s chest and just having the head bowed down?



I would be happy to receive some comments from our esteemed members on my left over doubts….

Cheers..

RAVI

 
I stopped saying abhivadhaye. I don't know sanskrit. Once after reciting Sundara Ghantam, I invited everyone forthe Pattabishekam recital. After the recital, I was performing namaskaram to all the persons elder to me. One gentleman who knew me very well asked me say abhivadhaye. I said abhivadhaye in Tamizh. He said he was not too impressed. well, I could not help it. After that incident, I did not say abhivadhaye at all. But when my father passed away, one Vadhiyar came to perform the last rites. Just before performing namaskaram to him,I cautioned that I would say abhivadhaye in Tamizh. He listened to my abhivadhaye patiently; then he pointed out the bits I left out and wrote down the abhivadhaye in Sanskrit for me. I still keep it safely.
 
There were many women who were well versed in the vedas. Examples are Yami, Gargi, Lopamudra, Ghosha, Maitreyi...

Women supposedly were relegated to the "lower" role in the dharma shastra times or puranic times (from about 300 AD onwards)...

Reasons for the downward trend in the position of women is unknown.

One guess is that there was mixing of hordes from the Mauryan times into the Kushan times. No one really knows what actually happened then.

The dharma shastras surfaced as law books prescribing codes of conduct for various groups of people, in various parts of India, soon after the Kushan times.

The dharmashastras supposedly ended up creating a rigid birth-based class system, and ended up putting and keeping the role of women firmly down...but it may be possible that women were still entitiled to get an education even in the puranic times in certain regions (this needs more digging)....
 
There were many women who were well versed in the vedas. Examples are Yami, Gargi, Lopamudra, Ghosha, Maitreyi...

Women supposedly were relegated to the "lower" role in the dharma shastra times or puranic times (from about 300 AD onwards)...

Reasons for the downward trend in the position of women is unknown.

One guess is that there was mixing of hordes from the Mauryan times into the Kushan times. No one really knows what actually happened then.

The dharma shastras surfaced as law books prescribing codes of conduct for various groups of people, in various parts of India, soon after the Kushan times.

The dharmashastras supposedly ended up creating a rigid birth-based class system, and ended up putting and keeping the role of women firmly down...but it may be possible that women were still entitiled to get an education even in the puranic times in certain regions (this needs more digging)....

Sri Happyhindu ji,

Superb explanations.....

For a long time I was pondering about what made the SHASTRAMS and SAMPRADHAYAMS to exclude girls/ladies to do ABHINADHAYE while seeking blessing from elders?

Sri Swaminathasharma ji has indicated that the reason for this exclusion is - Girls being gaining two different Gothram identity [One from her father before marriage & another from husband after marriage], were denied from this due to un-uniformity.

After knowing this reason, I think now that - Why "ABHIVADHAYE" verses were not established in 2 different ways, distinguishing them in terms of before marriage and after marriage by including their father name and husband name respectively?

On this thought of mine, I feel that your comments on social systems from the beginning making some distinctions (may or may not be valid/reasonable) based on the Gender stands good.

Let us wait and watch if some one could dig further on this matter and could make things understand clearly...

I would be glad to know the answer to one of my questions as per my first post, starting the thread -Why particular position/body language was determined while doing “ABHIVADHAYE” ?

Cheers...

RAVI
 
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Respected Sir,

This is a kinda exercise equivalent to that of dhorbi-karanam, which we do infront of shri ganesa. The prostrate posture provides us to withstand in any situation as it shatters our ego. Have you see people standing in front of periava or some other saints. They will stand like that only. That is the place to show your ignorance. You are quite inferior in front of them. In today busy and tight schedule, we do this infront of our boss (Standing like that with a bend). In those days, people were not workers and not much money-minded. So, inorder to shatter their ego, they had only solution to get the blessings of elder people. Hence, they started this culture.

Note: This is my personal view sir.
 
Sri Swaminathasharma ji,

I fully agree with you as we all know that DHARMA SHASTRAS can never be questioned. Every shastra is valid and meaningful for our benefit. All that may or many not be upto our understanding.

I am raising some of the questions from our SHASTRAMS only to have a better understanding of what we are doing and why we are doing. And not to test the authenticity of our SHASTRAMS / SAMPRADHAYAMS.

As we Brahmins are more inclined towards SHASTRAMS & SAMPRADHAYAMS, I feel we should know some of the reasons of some of these Shastrams & Sampradhayams. This would help us to pass on to our coming generations as well.

In a simple day to day life, I believe some of our parents could not give any answers to the questions of their children pertaining to Shastrams & Sampradhayams. I have asked many questions to my parents. But could get answeres only for few. They use to say - Theriyaadu da kanna...Aana Shastram/Sampradhayam allaamey namba nanmai kaahave dhaan. Naanga chinnapa enga amma appa kitta sila shastram sampradhayam paththiya kelvigal kettal ore badil dhaan varum - Idhai therinjukittu nee enna panna porey? Periyava naanga solratha ketundu chamathtah irukkunam. Athiga prasangi thanamaana kelvigalai ketka koodhaadu.

I simply don't want to follow the same.....

I have my own curiosity to know and have decided to take my own efforts to explain to my children well before they ask me...[Off course once I get married and have children].



Cheers...

RAVI
 
Sri Durgadasan ji,

Absolute fine answer with a touch of kindle as per the fact of the present generation plight...

Thank you so much to spare your valuable time to respond to my queries. I similarly thank every member who all have responded to my questions without getting irritated.

--------------------

Sri Swaminathasharma ji,

Thank you for your suggestion.....

Thank you very much for your blessings and best wishes....


Cheers...

RAVI
 
I have my own curiosity to know and have decided to take my own efforts to explain to my children well before they ask me...[Off course once I get married and have children].

RAVI

While growing,children should come out of the feeling that 'my parents know everything'. Mother's milk only will not do forever,similarly, parents cannot replace the Guru and Grantha(books).

Moreover, the stage of comprehension of the child also is relevant.
Ummachi" can be god for a boy of 3-4 yrs. But on growing the boy may pass thru many stages of distillation...like.. atheist, rationalist,agnostic,....and when his knowledge expands, may again settle to be theist,adviata sidhaanthi etc.

The story of Drona teaching Arjuna holds good for us still(By first few lessons Arjun feels he can destroy enemy totally. He is sent back for further learning After few more lessons ,Arjuna feels he can face one batalion.. again sent back for further training....until one day Arjuna says he can face one man directly..The lesson ends in that realisation of one' s own limitations..)

Greetings
 
Hello HH, Greetings!

There were many women who were well versed in the vedas. Examples are Yami, Gargi, Lopamudra, Ghosha, Maitreyi...

When you quote names such as the above, and at the same time discuss Maurya and Kushan, are you giving equal historical validity to both? In other words, do you take these characters to be historical figures who actually existed, just like Chandragupta Maurya and kanishka?

There is one more thing to consider. If women had equal rights to scholarship as men in Vedic times, why then we do not have any gothra lines after women rishis? Why are there no female rishees in the abivadaye? The greatness of all the great women from Vedic times and Puranic times are portrayed to be resulting from their service to their husbands. None of them are celebrated/revered for their scholarship.

My point is, whether historically accurate or not, and Gargi et al not withstanding, the vedic tradition is male dominated to begin with, that kept women down.

Truth be told, they were not alone in this, all major civilizations were equal or worse in their treatment of women.

Cheers!
 
Dear Sir,

Hello HH, Greetings!

When you quote names such as the above, and at the same time discuss Maurya and Kushan, are you giving equal historical validity to both? In other words, do you take these characters to be historical figures who actually existed, just like Chandragupta Maurya and kanishka?

Yes sir, its looks more probable that the women were historical figures than otherwise (to me). Some are sort of "known" events, like Gargi challenged Yajnavalkya in the Court of King Janaka of Videha. Some of the 27 women vedic seers were also composers of hyms. Eg: there are abt 10 hymns in the Rig supposed to have been composed by Maitreyi. Ghosha also composed hymns. Rigved also has conversations b/w Agastya and Lopamudra. So, it does looks like these women were historical figures. http://hinduism.about.com/library/weekly/aa031601c.htm

There is one more thing to consider. If women had equal rights to scholarship as men in Vedic times, why then we do not have any gothra lines after women rishis? Why are there no female rishees in the abivadaye? The greatness of all the great women from Vedic times and Puranic times are portrayed to be resulting from their service to their husbands. None of them are celebrated/revered for their scholarship.

Sir, i have no idea when the customary practice of abhivadaya introduction came into origin. Looks very likely that it did not exist in the vedic times.

As far as gotras go, the Journal of Epigraphical Society lists inscriptions, historical works etc, and mentions gotras as literally cowpens...the earliest gotras were about the "wealth" division of cows. So what we know now as male gotra lineage also probably came about in the puranic times; and was non-existent in the vedic times (am told there is no mention of the word 'gotra' in the vedas).

This is an interesting paper that touches upon matronymics or female gothras: http://www.vidyaonline.net/arvindgupta/ddkindopartone.pdf Kosambi takes a very critical view in that paper on what he calls as discordant interpolations of verses by brahmins. Some caste practices listed in the second paragraph on page 21 is interesting. Me too now feels that what we consider as 'low castes' today were once most likely the rigvedic tribes.

Culture apparently varied in different regions. In the northwest regions of Madra, Bahlika, Gandhara, Kambhoja, etc, an arya could become a dasa and a dasa could become an arya (there was no varna system) and women seemed to have had a relative freedom of choice (there is mention of stri rajyams where women were the decision makers). Since the rigved corresponds to the north-west of india, am not surprised that in those regions (possibly much earlier than the origin of those kingdoms depending on the dating), women composers existed there.

The rigid class system was found in the gangetic plains of India and they viewed (as well as wrote) deridingly about the ways of the people of the northwest. They also did not seem to have given women as much freedom as folk from the northwest (and this is the culture that gets termed "vedic" currently). Probably, the northwest could not be culturally dominated to change its ways. But over time, some sort of a system probably needed to be arranged by the ppl of the gangetic plains to accomodate the incoming hordes or ppl from the northwest. And probably, thus began the practice of writing or preparing dharma shastras.


The early kingdoms of Andhra had kings with matronymic names (quite likely that they were matrilineal). The book "the elementary structures of kinship' mentions that one historian named Karandikar distinguished b/w eponymous (or local gotras) and patronymic and matronymic gotras. So sir, there were female gotras too, in the puranic times, just like the patronymic male gothras, but they just seem to have disappeared. What we are looking at presently is the post-mughal, post-colonial cultures.

My point is, whether historically accurate or not, and Gargi et al not withstanding, the vedic tradition is male dominated to begin with, that kept women down.

Truth be told, they were not alone in this, all major civilizations were equal or worse in their treatment of women.

It does not look like the vedic culture (meaning, cultures of the northwest) treated women lowly. But the cultures of the east (that is, cultures of the gangetic plains that later began to be called "vedic") look like they did.

But the system of denying education to women - we owe it to the dharma shastras i suppose. Am aware of traditional folks who would not dare question the dharma shastras. Perhaps, it is due to that very attitude of (probably misplaced) bhayam-bhakti of 'accepting-without-questioning' that resulted in generations of uneducated women...


Cheers!
 
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There were many women who were well versed in the vedas. Examples are Yami, Gargi, Lopamudra, Ghosha, Maitreyi...

Women supposedly were relegated to the "lower" role in the dharma shastra times or puranic times (from about 300 AD onwards)...

Reasons for the downward trend in the position of women is unknown.

One guess is that there was mixing of hordes from the Mauryan times into the Kushan times. No one really knows what actually happened then.

The dharma shastras surfaced as law books prescribing codes of conduct for various groups of people, in various parts of India, soon after the Kushan times.

The dharmashastras supposedly ended up creating a rigid birth-based class system, and ended up putting and keeping the role of women firmly down...but it may be possible that women were still entitiled to get an education even in the puranic times in certain regions (this needs more digging)....

I have a correction to make in the above post.

This is debatable (the post-kushan view was told to me orally but i have not found written evidence so far):
The dharma shastras surfaced as law books prescribing codes of conduct for various groups of people, in various parts of India, soon after the Kushan times.

Dating seems to vary. In any case, Dharma shastras are believed to have been written after the vedic period; and some like manusmrithi (abt 200bc - 200ad) do overlap with the times around the mauryan (~320bc) and kushan (~1ad) kingdoms.

The "Mackenzie collection: a descriptive catalogue of the oriental manuscripts and other articles illustrative of the literature, history, statistics and antiquities of the South of India, Volume 1" of 1828, lists the following smritis as available on palm leaves in the telugu language (looks like they were followed in the andhra regions):

Gautama smriti, Yama smriti, Angirasa smriti, Lohita smriti, Daksha smrithi, Atreya smrithi, Harita smriti, Usana Smriti, Bharadwaja smriti, Vashista smriti, Sandilya smrithi, Vishwamitra smriti, Kanwa smrithi, Sanka smriti and Parashara smrithi.
 
Respected all,

I think I need to conclude this way -

In olden days when the system of "ABHIVADHAYE" came into effect in our cast, Girls / Ladies were confirmed to their homes. This we all know. These home confirmed girls & ladies might have been restricted to take blessings of only their Father and Husband respectively and not of others. And if at all they happened to be obtaining blessings of some spiritual gurus, these females might be doing “NAMASKARAM” either along with their Father or Brother or Husband where the male member performs “ABHIVADHAYE”. That might be the reason I guess "ABHIVADHAYE" was not determined for females. And obviously "ABHIVADHAYE" was not so necessary to be pronounced to one's own father/mother.


If there can be other appropriate reasons that can be substantiated clearly with valid & authenticated examples/references, than I would still like to have them posted in this thread precisely.


Cheers...

RAVI
 
The Dharmashastras, part of Smirti, were quite ancient and based on the Vedas itself. The only difference is they were man made by the Rishis based on their understanding of the Vedas. The Dharmashastras were codified by 18 Maharishis. They were Manu, Parashara, Yagnavalkya, Goutama, Haaritha, Yaman, Vishnu, Sankar, Likithar, Brihaspathi, Dakshan, Angiras, Prachethar, Samvarthar, Achanas, Athri, Apastambhar and Saathathapar. Based on who codified them they were called as Manu Smiriti or Parashara Smiriti and so on.

My personal opinion is the dhamashastras could not have been responsible for the degradation of women. The rishis who codified them are from eons back so the translations of these smiritis which are available now and from the internet cannot be said to be reliable ones. There is enough evidence that women were held in high esteem during Vedic times and some of the Vedas were revealed to these seers themselves who were contemporaries of other "brahmavadinis" -women seers. So it is highly unlikely that the seers could have interpreted the Vedas in such a way and written dharmashastras which could have degraded women.
 
The Dharmashastras, part of Smirti, were quite ancient and based on the Vedas itself. The only difference is they were man made by the Rishis based on their understanding of the Vedas. The Dharmashastras were codified by 18 Maharishis. They were Manu, Parashara, Yagnavalkya, Goutama, Haaritha, Yaman, Vishnu, Sankar, Likithar, Brihaspathi, Dakshan, Angiras, Prachethar, Samvarthar, Achanas, Athri, Apastambhar and Saathathapar. Based on who codified them they were called as Manu Smiriti or Parashara Smiriti and so on.

My personal opinion is the dhamashastras could not have been responsible for the degradation of women. The rishis who codified them are from eons back so the translations of these smiritis which are available now and from the internet cannot be said to be reliable ones. There is enough evidence that women were held in high esteem during Vedic times and some of the Vedas were revealed to these seers themselves who were contemporaries of other "brahmavadinis" -women seers. So it is highly unlikely that the seers could have interpreted the Vedas in such a way and written dharmashastras which could have degraded women.

Sri Anandb ji,

Absolutely true....I agree with you

I am of the same opinion. "Dharma Shastras" as the term "DHARMA" itself, can not be considered something that might have done "ADHARMAM" to women.

I feel specific verses of "ABHIVADHAYE" for females might have been determined / existed during “Pouranic period” (that could not have been traced out) and gradually might have been ceased during much olden days when females were confined to home strictly...


Cheers...

RAVI
 
A small sample of contrasts (which of these are considered interpolations i leave it to you to decide):

Manusmrithi - chapter 3: The Laws of Manu III

55. Women must be honoured and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers-in-law, who desire (their own) welfare.

56. Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honoured, no sacred rite yields rewards.

57. Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers.

58. The houses on which female relations, not being duly honoured, pronounce a curse, perish completely, as if destroyed by magic.

Manusmrithi - chapter 2: The Laws of Manu II

213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this (world); for that reason the wise are never unguarded in (the company of) females.

214. For women are able to lead astray in (this) world not only a fool, but even a learned man, and (to make) him a slave of desire and anger.

215. One should not sit in a lonely place with one's mother, sister, or daughter; for the senses are powerful, and master even a learned man.

---------

A few other notes:

Chapter 5: The Laws of Manu V

147. By a girl, by a young woman, or even by an aged one, nothing must be done independently, even in her own house.

148. In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be independent.

Chapter 7:
The Laws of Manu VII

149. At the time of consultation let him ("him" refers to a king) cause to be removed idiots, the dumb, the blind, and the deaf, animals, very aged men, women, barbarians, the sick, and those deficient in limbs.

Chapter 9:
2. Day and night woman must be kept in dependence by the males (of) their (families), and, if they attach themselves to sensual enjoyments, they must be kept under one's control.

3. Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.

Please let me know if manusmrithi permits education for women and if there is any interpolation in that issue.
 
Just an aside (just to be read and ignored):

In southindia, amongst brahmins too marriage is permitted b/w the son/daughter of the father's sister (attai) and mother's brother (maama).

But look at what Manu smrithi says: The Laws of Manu XI

172. He who has approached the daughter of his father's sister, (who is almost equal to) a sister, (the daughter) of his mother's sister, or of his mother's full brother, shall perform a lunar penance.

173. A wise man should not take as his wife any of these three; they must not be wedded because they are (Sapinda-) relatives, he who marries (one of them), sinks low.

i wonder since when have ppl been following or not following manusmrithi amongst brahmins and southindians in general...
 
Hello HH, Greetings!



When you quote names such as the above, and at the same time discuss Maurya and Kushan, are you giving equal historical validity to both? In other words, do you take these characters to be historical figures who actually existed, just like Chandragupta Maurya and kanishka?

There is one more thing to consider. If women had equal rights to scholarship as men in Vedic times, why then we do not have any gothra lines after women rishis? Why are there no female rishees in the abivadaye? The greatness of all the great women from Vedic times and Puranic times are portrayed to be resulting from their service to their husbands. None of them are celebrated/revered for their scholarship.

My point is, whether historically accurate or not, and Gargi et al not withstanding, the vedic tradition is male dominated to begin with, that kept women down.

Truth be told, they were not alone in this, all major civilizations were equal or worse in their treatment of women.

Cheers!

Dear Shri. Nara,

This is pretty long but hope you care to read it. Vedic times held the women in high esteem. Scholarly women were known as brahmavadinis", women who had realized "Brahman". The Rig Veda was supposed to have been revealed to 18 women seers. Hinduism was the only religion with the concept of female deities. Knowledge, wealth and valor, 3 prime requisites for leading a human life were attributed to Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvati. The concept of Ardhanariswara, half man and half woman is a Hindu concept. So many sukthams which are part of Sruti are dedicated to goddesses like durga suktham, sri suktham, devi suktham. If a man loses his wife, he loses the right to perform yagnas or sacrifices. The wife is called "Saha dharma chaarini" meaning to do one's dharma you need to do it with your wife.

There is a hymn which says "Striyah Devah, Striyah Pranah" meaning "Women are devas and Women are life itself".

The Manu smiriti says the following about women -

"Where women are honored there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honored no sacred rite yields rewards," Manu Smriti (III.56)

"Women must be honored and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands and brothers-in-law, who desire their own welfare." (Manu Smriti III, 55)

" Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers." (Manu Smriti III, 57).

"The houses on which female relations, not being duly honored, pronounce a curse, perish completely as if destroyed by magic." (Manu Smriti III, 58)

" Hence men who seek their own welfare, should always honor women on holidays and festivals with gifts of ornaments, clothes, and dainty food." (Manu Smriti III, 59)

The Sikshavalli of the Tattriyo Upanishad says "Matro Devo Bhava" putting the mother above father, guru and even god. This Upanishad is part of Krishna Yajurveda which is a revealed text.

The Rig Veda says "Yatr nariyastu poojayante ramante tatr devah", where woman is worshipped, Gods preside there.

The Devi-Mahatmiyam says this
By you this universe is borne, by you this world is created. By you it is protected, O Devi: By you it is consumed at the end. You are the Supreme Knowledge, as well as ignorance, intellect and contemplation...

The earth itself was worshiped as Mother Earth or Bhoomi Devi.

There is a translation of the essence of Vishnu Purana which says the following -
She is Language, he is Thought
She is Prudence, he is Law
He is Reason; she is Sense
She is Duty; he is Right
He is Will; she is Wish
He is Pity; she is Gift
He is Song; she is Note
She is Fuel; he is Fire
She is Glory; he is Sun
She is Motion; he is Wind
He is Owner; she is Wealth
He is Battle ; she is Might
He is Lamp; she is Light
He is Day; she is Night
He is Justice; she is Pity
He is Channel; she is River
She is Beauty; he is Strength
She is Body; he is Soul

The above are just some examples of the high status of women in those times. Just to show the present day ill treatment of women has absolutely no precedent from those times.

Louis Jaccoliot was a government official in the times of French India between 1837 to 1890. He translated a lot of Vedic hymns into French and this was what he said.
"India of the Vedas entertained a respect for women amounting to worship; a fact which we seem little to suspect in Europe when we accuse the extreme East of having denied the dignity of woman, and of having only made her an instrument of pleasure and of passive obedience." He also said: "What! here is a civilization, which you cannot deny to be older than your own, which places the woman on a level with the man and gives her an equal place in the family and in society."

Will Durant, the American historian says this
"Women enjoyed far greater freedom in the Vedic period than in later India. She had more to say in the choice of her mate than the forms of marriage might suggest. She appeared freely at feasts and dances, and joined with men in religious sacrifice. She could study, and like Gargi, engage in philosophical disputation.

Thanks
 
Dear Anand,

Forget vedic times. Am asking about the dharmashastras.

Please give me verse(s) from any dharma shastra (any smrithi) that permits women to receive an education and does not relegate her to a subservient position.

And that i mean without interpolation or self-contradicting stuff within the same smrithi (i mean not like verses within the same manusmrithi that are self-contradictory).

Please provide me with just a clear statement from any smrithi that permits women to get an education and does not self-contradict itself with loopholes or by providing another verse that disallows the same. Thanks.
 
Dear Anand,

Forget vedic times. Am asking about the dharmashastras.

Please give me verse(s) from any dharma shastra (any smrithi) that permits women to receive an education and does not relegate her to a subservient position.

And that i mean without interpolation or self-contradicting stuff within the same smrithi (i mean not like verses within the same manusmrithi that are self-contradictory).

Please provide me with just a clear statement from any smrithi that permits women to get an education and does not self-contradict itself with loopholes or by providing another verse that disallows the same. Thanks.

HH,

I don't know. My reasoning is based on logic. There is no reason for let's say, Yagnavalkya or Apastamba to contradict themselves within the same sutra because they will be termed as a nut. What has come down to us is a lot of translated text. This may have additions and deletions and the translations themselves could be faulty. The dharma sastras are themselves based on the Sruti. If we say the smrtis are crap then the sruti should also be crap. My point is the sages themselves who composed the sastras as a commentary on the sruti could not have said something in contradiction to the Vedas.

If I accept the situation where the sastras suggested all kinds of things which are bad then the I accept the fact that the Vedas containing noble and lofty thoughts and ideals are revealed to a huge number of seers who bring it to the knowledge of the world and then go ahead and write sastras which totally contradict what is said in the Vedas and at the same time preaching the kings and subjects of those times as to what should be followed. This also does not gel with things like female god worship and brahmavadinis and so on.

I have also read the translations of some of the sutras supposedly written by some of this seers and I don't believe in it because they contain stuff which goes against what is said in the Vedas. My belief is a lot of these translations are faulty with additions and deletions according to the whims of the translator. I understand the sastras are further commented by the "Nibandhana granthas". I have not read any of these nibandhanas which I would like to do so.
 
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